Consumer electronics startup Imagine Marketing, which operates the brand ‘boAt’, has announced its plan to raise $60 million (Rs 500 Cr) from private investors including Warburg Pincus and Malabar Investments, at a time when there is a growing concern among companies over the volatile stock market.
The funding news comes at a time when boAt was planning to release an IPO in the coming weeks. According to those guidelines, the six-year-old company was allowed to raise ₹180 Cr before IPO, yet the company has moved ahead with Rs 500 Cr funding. This fuels boAt’s plan to postpone the IPO and reconsider it in the next 12-18 months, CNBC reported.
The latest Series C equity funding values the company at approximately $1.4 billion, with Warburg Pincus investing through its affiliate, South Lake Investment, along with Malabar Investments.
The latest cash injection will be used to expand its smartwatch category, scale up business across channels and markets in India and abroad and hire tech talents. The company will also support building a local manufacturing ecosystem under the Make in India initiative.
“We have established clear leadership in our core personal audio category and are the number two player globally in earwear. It is a matter of great pride that a brand that was born in India is now ranked amongst the top brands in the world. We now want to make smartwatches our second core and will replicate the boAt digital playbook to become global leaders in this category as well. The new funding will allow us to invest significantly to disrupt the smartwatch space with more innovative products. And we are thrilled that investors continue to have strong conviction and confidence in the boAt story,” said Aman Gupta, co-founder & chief marketing officer.
The brand entered the smartwatch category a few years ago and has made significant progress in expanding into this fast-growing space and establishing itself while keeping the health and mental wellness aspect in mind for the wearable ecosystem.
Sameer Mehta, Co-founder and Chief Product Officer, boAt said, “We are very excited about the potential of smartwatches. The market today is in the early stages of evolution and most players don’t have control over the end-to-end stack to offer compelling features to consumers. There is a significant opportunity to build the category and launch more distinctive and technologically advanced products. Through boAt labs (our 120-person in-house R&D team) and our acquisition of KaHa Technologies, we are developing the next generation of products. These products will provide richer features and deeper insights to consumers on their health and wellness to enable them to lead more active and fulfilling lifestyles.”